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Protecting life below water

We know our ocean operations risk affecting life below water. Potential risk factors include, but aren’t limited to, ballast water, hull fouling, ship-generated waste and vessel recycling.

We take responsibility for this and take our commitment to helping meet the UN’s Life Below Water SDG seriously.

As a result, we strictly adhere to all rules and regulations that apply to us and work towards developing solutions that could reduce our impact.  

Environmental emergency preparedness of ships

As we operate a large fleet across the globe, environmental emergencies – such as oil spills – can occur for reasons both in and out of our control.

Not only do these have great environmental consequences, but they’re bad for business too.

We can’t always predict them, but that doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for them.

Managing emergency preparations
The Marine Operations Management team oversees that each vessel under our operational control is prepared for such an emergency, which it does by collaborating with the ship management companies that oversee them.

In the case of oil spills, ship managers organise drills that are conducted at least twice a year and ensure the right procedures and materials are in place.   

In the event of an emergency, our Emergency Response Reporting Routines Policy – which includes notifying the Marine Operations Management team – helps us to respond quickly and minimise damage.

Environmental issues in ship recycling

The dismantling and recycling of vessels is an issue with safety, welfare and environmental aspects, and is an issue of particular concern to our stakeholders and ourselves.

When our vessels reach the end of their service lives we recycle them in a responsible and transparent manner.

Managing the recycling process
When we sell vessels we apply binding conditions on when, where and to what standards they must be recycled. We only use craned berths and landing facilities which we pre-vet to ensure worker welfare and safety are front of mind, as well as to make certain materials are recycled and waste treated in an appropriate and traceable manner.

We have a representative on site to supervise the entire process, with the authority to stop work for safety, welfare or environmental reasons.

At the end of the whole process, we make sure useful items – such as furniture and appliances – aren’t put to waste by offering them to the local community.

 Ballast water

Ships need ballast water for stability, trim and manoeuvring. That water, however, is also a known vector for the transfer of invasive species.

To protect marine ecosystems, we strictly adhere to ballast water regulations to mitigate these risks.

Managing ballast water
The Marine Operations Management team are overseeing the installation of ballast water treatment systems across our owned fleet.  The systems being installed have received type approval from both the United States Coast Guard and International Maritime Organization.

Vessels’ respective ship management companies, meanwhile, manage ongoing compliance with ballast water regulation.

The installation of treatment systems is following the dry docking schedule of the vessels, in accordance with regulatory requirements.  Vessels that have not yet installed ballast water treatment systems maintain compliance through ballast water exchange routines.

Hull fouling

Hull fouling performance has a potentially large environmental and economic impact.

It takes a lot more power to propel a vessel when there’s marine growth on its hull, much in the same way that it’s harder to swim fully clothed.

Marine growth increases fuel consumption and, therefore, emissions, and can also carry invasive species. There is increasing regulatory attention to hull fouling, hence it is also a compliance matter.

Managing hull fouling
All of our owned and long-term chartered vessels have to conform to our Underwater Hull Maintenance Policy.

Where possible, they’re cleaned using ‘clean and capture’ systems that land removed biofouling to shore to be disposed of in controlled way, effectively eliminating the invasive species risk it might otherwise pose.

This is overseen by the Marine Operations Management team and the ship management companies we work with. 

Ship generated waste

Vessel waste includes dunnage, packaging, fuel sludge and food scraps.

Striving to produce zero waste is possible in most categories (barring dunnage, which is necessary for cargo quality and safety issues) so we monitor everything we produce and how it’s disposed of.

Getting rid of waste irresponsibly has environmental as well as financial repercussions, so it’s an important issue for society and port state control as well as for us.

Managing on-board waste
Our Marine Operations Management team and ship managers oversee waste disposal and follow well-established procedures and regulatory requirements, including the Garbage Record Book and Oil Record Book.

Each waste category is dealt with differently; while removing food waste overboard is accetable in some cases, the same certainly doesn’t apply to oil sludge.

Many of our vessels have their own incinerators but we’re gradually phasing these out as they’re not as efficient as those used on land.